Back from vacation. Re-entry is always hard. Navigating through the piles of junk on my desk, returning calls, getting back in the swing of work and parenthood—you know the drill. So in the spirit of commitment, here are some cool things I am doing these days to re-energize myself.
1) Making reservations.
I am running to NYC next week to do the Regis and Kelly show—deciding between Babbo and The Red Cat for dinner next Thursday with friends. Next Wednesday, I am in Dallas and plan on hitting Sammy’s Bar-B-Q for lunch and Nobu for dinner. The food at Nobu in Dallas's Crescent Court is insanely good. The chef is a young Aussie who is one of Matsuhisa’s right-hand guys, and the food is better or as good as when I have had when Nobu himself make the meal.
Locally, I am taking a hint from my newest protégé Berit and going to Los Andes, a Colombian and Ecuadorian restaurant on West Lake Street. The portions are supposedly huge, the prices are reportedly small, and the sauces are reputedly superb—especially the homemade hot sauces.
3) Surfing the Net.
Check out Culinate, one of my new fave food sites.
4) Reading e-mail.
I got this one from Lowell Pickett, the owner of the Dakota and one of Minneapolis’s great gentlemen. He saw the piece about Bizarre Foods in the NYT and sent me this observation. If you haven’t been to the Dakota recently, you owe it to yourself to go. Jack Reibel’s food is wonderful, and the venue is a national treasure. Lowell wrote:
I felt that section of the paper was oddly resonate with the Twin Cities and indicative of how much geographical barriers continue to be dissolved in contemporary culture. The article on the front of the section was about Jean Nouvel. Sunday night, I'd been talking with John Scofield & Steve Swallow after their show at the Dakota, and they were asking about the architecture of the Weisman and the Walker. I told them about the Guthrie as well, and they weren't familiar with Nouvel. That probably changed Monday.
Then, opening the section, there was a rave review of Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra at Zankel Hall. It conveyed what a rare and extraordinary concert it was. The band's first western hemisphere concert took place ten days earlier in a somewhat more intimate setting at the Dakota.
Then, turning the page, there was your smiling visage. What a wonderfully complimentary article.
The whole section made me feel that the Twin Cities are indeed an integral part of contemporary currents. Incidentally, Scofield and Swallow are refined masters of their music and have developed sublime tastes in culinary pleasures as well. They claim that the food at the Dakota is the best of any jazz venue in the world. That's always nice to hear.